lab snippets

Brain cells that change shape after a meal, microbiota helps combat bacterial superinfection, and can an amino acid help to restore memories in Alzheimer’s patients?

By 5 mars 2020 mai 31st, 2020 No Comments

Have you just finished a good meal and are you now feeling full? Researchers from the CNRS, INRAE, the University of Burgundy, the Université de Paris, Inserm, and the University of Luxembourg have now discovered that this satisfied state involves a series of reactions in our brains triggered by a rise in blood glucose levels. The study, conducted on mice, is published in Cell Reports.

photo au microscope

POMC neurons (orange dots) in the hypothalamus of a mouse, located at the base of the brain. Photo taken from a mouse using a confocal microscope. © Danaé Nuzzaci / CNRS / CSGA

Source: The CNRS

Reference: Cell Reports

Researchers, again from the CNRS and INRAE, as well as INSERM, the Institut Pasteur de Lille and colleagues in Brazil, Scotland and Denmark have shown for the first time in mice that perturbation of the gut microbiota caused by the influenza virus favours secondary bacterial superinfection. Published in Cell Reports, these results could help in the prevention and treatment of bacterial pneumonia, a major cause of death in elderly or vulnerable people infected with the virus.

illustration Influenza: combating bacterial superinfection with the help of the microbiota

© INRAE

Source: INRAE

Reference: Cell Reports

A metabolic pathway plays a determining role in the memory problems experienced by patients with Alzheimers. This new result, from  scientists at the Laboratoire des Maladies Neurodégénératives (CNRS/CEA/Université Paris-Saclay) and the Neurocentre Magendie (INSERM/Université de Bordeaux) also shows that supplying a specific amino acid as a nutritional supplement in a mouse model of the disease restores spatial memory affected early. The work, published in Cell Metabolism, could help in the development of treatments to reduce memory loss in these patients.

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Astrocytes in the hippocampus of mice brains © Laboratoire des Maladies Neurodégénératives (CNRS/CEA/Université Paris Saclay)

Source: CNRS

Reference: Cell Metabolism